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Making ambiguous displays unambiguous: The influence of real colors and colored aftereffects on perceptual alternation
journal contributionposted on 1986-03-01, 00:00 authored by J Broerse, Boris Crassini
The relationship between orientation-contingent colored aftereffects (CAEs) and perceptual alternation of ambiguous displays was investigated in three experiments. In all experiments, the ambiguous test display consisted of vertical and horizontal contours that either could be perceived as separate surfaces (the diamond organization) or could be combined to form upright and inverted Us (the rectangles organization). In Experiments 1 and 2, observers inspected the test display when it was achromatic, when it was colored in a manner consistent with the appearance of CAEs, and when it was colored in a non-CAE manner. In Experiment 3, the test display was inspected monocularly before and after monocular color-orientation adaptation. The achromatic viewing conditions of Experiments 1 and 2, both monocular preadaptation achromatic viewing conditions of Experiment 3, and the postadaptation achromatic viewing condition involving the nonadaptation eye in Experiment 3 produced essentially the same results: reports of approximately equal duration for the diamond and rectangles organizations and steady rates ofperceptual alternation. The non-CAE color conditions of Experiment 2 produced a similar pattern of results. However, the color condition of Experiment 1 (i.e., simulated CAEs), and the postadaptation condition involving the adaptation eye in Experiment 3 produced a decrement in the perceptual alternation rate, with the diamond organization being reported almost exclusively. These results indicate that ambiguous displays can be made unambiguous by altering the appearance of the displays either through the addition of appropriate colors or by exposing observers to appropriate adaptation conditions. These results are consistent with stimulus-bound explanations of both CAEs and perceptual alternation. © 1986 Psychonomic Society, Inc.